The work of the Belgian artist, Kris Martin, born in 1972, radiates intense experiences of the finite and the transient, of life and death. In his works—which include installation, photography, drawing, script and sound—the artist discusses the presence of time, the power of imagination and memory, beauty and its terrors. He also inquires into the possibility of spirituality, eternity, religion and God. Despite their melancholic, symbolic and romantic aspects, Martin’s works are not categorical or histrionic, but often rooted in skeptical humor. The formal diversity and the sensual, material qualities of his objects are combined with austere conceptuality, playful elegance and cool, puristic concentration.
Martin often uses found objects, always with their own history in tow, while, on the other hand, objects that are elaborately produced for him; his works range from smallest formats to room-filling environments. He inquires into the fleetingness and fragility of life in view of his own person while, at the same time, always involving the viewer. It is one of Martin’s main work strategies not only to isolate things from their original context but to remove, superimpose and overwrite their essential information in such a way that the seemingly familiar becomes enigmatic. Viewers are irritated and motivated enough to fill the blanks with their own experience.
Kunstmuseum Bonn is showing the first comprehensive exhibition of Martin’s oeuvre in Europe in collaboration with Aargauer Kunsthaus in Aarau and the Kestnergesellschaft in Hannover. An extensive catalogue, co-designed by the artist, will be published in concert with the exhibition with essays by Volker Adolphs, Susanne Figner, Antonia Lotz and Madeleine Schuppli.